Albany, NY – A years-long effort that would allow survivors of child sexual abuse to seek justice has cleared a major hurdle today, passing the State Assembly for the first time since 2008 by an overwhelming vote of 149-7.
The Child Victims Act would set the five year statute of limitations time clock back five years, , giving those who were molested as children until their 28th birthday, instead of the current deadline of age 23, to press criminal charges against their abusers.
The bill, which is sponsored by Manhattan Democrat Linda Rosenthal, would extend the time frame for those who want to bring civil lawsuits against their abusers from age 23 to 50.
Below: Assemblyman Dov Hikind spoke today on the Assembly floor about the bill.
The legislation also includes provisions that would cover those who have already passed the statute of limitations, with a one year window to be created in which they would be able to bring civil lawsuits against those who molested them, according to The Times Union (http://bit.ly/2rCEtmf).
Assemblyman Dov Hikind, one of several to co-sponsor the bill, spoke passionately today on the Assembly floor, sharing stories of his constituents whose lives were forever altered when they were sexually abused as children and exhorting his fellow legislators to hold child abusers accountable for their actions.
In the past, Republicans have refused to lend their support to similar bills, leaving them floundering. Hikind said that he was pleased with the broad support the bill received on both sides of the aisle and that he hoped the Senate would follow the Assembly’s lead by passing a similar bill.
“The vote today was so overwhelming and I only hope the Senate does something so that we can walk away after so many years with a bill that will help victims and society in general,” Hikind told VIN News. “This is something that is very, very important and today’s vote sends a very powerful message.”
Zvi Gluck, director of Amudim which deals with crisis counseling and hundreds of cases of sexual abuse in the Jewish community annually, described today’s vote as “a big win.”
“This shows victims and their families that the tide is changing and as we continue to fight for abuse victims we hope that our friends in the State Senate will show their support for child victims of sexual abuse by supporting this legislation,” said Gluck.